© Chuck Duboff
What did Winnipegers do after we were eliminated from the playoffs on Sunday night? In sadness, we thanked our Jets for a great season, Our appreciation spilled over, much like the 30,000 fans outside Bell MTS Place. We stayed classy and proud and didn’t emulate the rioting which occurred in Vancouver when the Canucks were knocked out. Canadians and Jets fans all around the world noticed our city and how we have grown up. No longer is there an inferiority complex…the bigger cities can boast about high rises and mortgages that burden you for life, but in Winnipeg we can proudly talk about a reasonable cost of living and people who are respectful of each other…even in losing.
Prior to entering the arena to watch the playoff games, I wandered through the street parties…and I saw fans high fiving perfect strangers, smiles everywhere, fans in white clad costumes…and after the games that we lost, I’d head back out there…and there was sadness, but no sense of fighting or rioting. Winnipeg Police continued to send out “congratulations” to Winnipegers for having a great time without any incidence. Stand proud Winnipeg, that wouldn’t happen in a lot of cities.
I remember the arguing in the city…those who said there’s no way we can tear down the old Eatons building; there’s no way the Jets are ever coming back to Winnipeg; there’s no way they’ll ever be a winning team, there’s no way the Jets will ever be a cap team, there’s no way they’ll ever make the playoffs, there’s no way they’ll ever go deep in the playoffs…and on and on and on.
We wake up this morning, with an arena which is the perfect size for our city; the Jets are an unqualified success on and off the ice; young people are proud of their city, the downtown is booming, with new towers coming up all over the city; restaurants, shopping, smiles and sunshine. Vancouver can keep its sky high mortgages and gloomy weather.
I’ll take my Winnipeg any day…even January, when it’s -40…because, you know what…
We are Winnipeg and should be daymn proud of that!!!